‘Life won’t be the same’: Wife of man killed in fiery West Valley crash asks drivers a favor

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BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4) – One phone call changed everything for the Brown family, who said their husband and father of five died after a fiery four-vehicle crash Monday afternoon.

Utah Highway Patrol said a reckless driver is to blame for the crash in West Valley, that killed 35-year-old Chuck Brown.

Police said Brown was the driver of a box truck that swerved in an attempt to avoid being hit by the reckless driver, but said his truck crashed head-on into a dump truck, immediately igniting a fire.

His wife, Veroneese Arona Brown said following the crash, she received a phone call from the police.    

“They were asking me if I know a Chuck Brown and I said that’s my husband and that’s when they started mentioning to me that he got into a car accident,” she said.

Veroneese Arona Brown said she rushed to the hospital, where her husband was listed in critical condition. All this, she said, happened on their son’s 11th birthday.

“He [Chuck Brown] was looking forward to celebrating,” she said.

UHP reports Chuck Brown succumbed to his injuries Wednesday. His family, now mourning his death.

“We had future plans together and now all of it’s been crushed,” Veroneese Arona Brown said.

As his wife of nearly 12 years, Veroneese Arona Brown said Chuck Brown was a family man who would do anything for those he loved and would not hesitate to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

“He loves our boys, the boys are his heart,” she said. “He always makes sure his family is taken care of; family always came first to Chuck. And he always put others first before himself.”

And she said he had an outgoing personality and enjoyed playing sports and being outside.

“Anytime you text him or call him, he’s gonna say we’re at the park or we’re just somewhere doing activities with the boys,” she said.

Looking back on pictures and videos the family had taken together throughout the years, a teary-eyed Veroneese Arona Brown told ABC4 News “life won’t be the same.”

She said of the tragedy, Chuck Brown would want her family to “make sure we fight [to stay strong] and keep our faith, and especially make sure that our boys are taken care of.”

“It’s definitely hard and it’s going to take some time, a very long time,” she said.

In recent months, Veroneese Arona Brown said she’s seen a number of news reports detail accidents that involve semi-trucks.

She hopes speaking out about her husband’s death will remind drivers to be more mindful of 18-wheelers on the road.

“Be mindful of those truck drivers because they have families to come home to,” she said. “Keep in mind that the breaks on those trucks are not the same, they don’t operate the same as regular vehicles.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family in their time of need.

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